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42                                           FLORA.   IN OH'A*
difference, that the contention is not intermittent,'but con-
tinuous, though unheeded by the common observer. In the
common course of events, therefore, the ground occupied by a
widely-distributed plant in held on a very different tenure in
different places; some individuals are obliged to grow in the
shade, others in the sun; and they hence flkw.Mr earlier in
certain places: *\vc say of such plants that they have 'i power
of accommodating themselves to their altered condition, or
better, that they have the power of resisting the effects of the
change. Now, this power wo believe* to IK* very much under-
rated, specific characters being too often founded on the differ-
ences in habit induced during u plant's migration over great
areas, or brought about by the change of sil and climate and
surrounding vegetation, to wheh individuals and their sum**
sors are subjected in different parts of one and the same area.
The simple fact that, of all the functions of \cgetable life,
reproduction is the most uncertain in its effects and results,
seems to bear upon this particular point. Some plants an*
never known to seed; of many, not one ovule out of u thou-
sand ripens into a seed; not out* seed out of a thousand ger-
minates, nor one plant reproduces out of a thousand Unit have
germinated. We are too apt to consider such facts, when ap-
plied to species or individuals, a indicating that they are not
iu a natural condition, whereas they ap|K:ar to l>e the* euiiHC-
qucnces of a law of nature, and ought to teach at that plaufs,
in a state of nature, arc Bubjccted to the operation of external
agents, which not only alter their habit but influence their
vital functions.
In these somewhat desultory remark** on the variom sub-
jects of which we proposed treating, we have endeavoured to
illustrate our great argument, the imperative nccctwtty of
checking the addition of species on insufficient ground*, and
the importance of treating scientifically those that are already
known, "\\fts consider it to bo desirable, that for all practical
purposes sptdes be regarded as defiaxite creations, i'hc offspring
each of "bujl one parent or pair; we believe that they are en-